Radiation therapy is used to help treat cancer. The radiation kills the cancerous cells so that you are tumor and cancer free. However, there are some radiation therapy side effects that you need to be aware of before you decide that this is the option for you.
Radiation therapy side effects – Tiredness
One of the most common side effects of radiation therapy noticed is fatigue. While the effects do vary from patient to patient, this is something that all will go through – at least on some degree. It will make it extremely difficult to do house chores and run errands, so you will need to talk to your friends and family for help; there is nothing wrong with asking them to help look after the kids.
You can manage the tiredness throughout the day by napping. Just take 15 to 30 minutes to shut your eyes and help your body rejuvenate. You should also aim to sleep at least eight hours during the night so that your body can recover from a long day.
When the skin is exposed to the radiation, there are chances that it will become red in color. This is perfectly normal but there are problems with it. Most people will feel that the skin is irritating or itchy.
The worst thing that you can do is rub or scratch at it. Your skin will be extremely sensitive at this time so you will need to take care of it.
There are some gels and creams that can be used but you will need to talk to your doctor or nurse about it. There are also natural skin products that you can put on your skin that will help to sooth the burn and inflammation. Avoid anything that has a scent to it because this will just aggravate the irritation. Once the treatment has ended, you will notice that the problems disappear.
Radiation therapy side effects – Appetite
Due to all the treatment and tiredness, many will suffer a loss of appetite. The problem is that this will also lead to fatigue and it becomes a vicious cycle. You will need to eat properly, even if you do not feel like it. Not eating correctly will lead to a loss of nutrients, which are needed to help keep your strength, especially while battling a disease like cancer.
If you do not feel like eating a large meal, opt for smaller meals at regular intervals. This will help to keep the nutrients in the system and will also aid to increase the energy. Like other side effects, this is one that will end once the treatment comes to an end.
Radiation therapy side effects – Hair loss
This is another one that only happens during the treatment phase. The radiation kills off a number of different cells, including the hair follicles. However, the hair loss is only dependent on the area that you are having the treatment – unlike with chemotherapy. You will not experience a loss of the hair on your head unless that is where the treatment is administered. Prevent hair loss in women .